Archive for July, 2010

Double-standards

Posted in New Zealand on July 24th, 2010 by steph – 5 Comments

John Dewar, the former head of Rotorua’s CIB, convicted and imprisoned for covering up police rape allegations, is planning to challenge his convictions and calls his accuser an “imposter”. Dewar served 19 months of a 4½- year prison term for trying to cover up alleged sexual offending by serving police officers against former Rotorua woman Louise Nicholas. He was paroled in May last year and is mounting an application for leave to appeal his conviction to the Supreme Court.

In the article, Dewar says

“She needs to accept the jury’s decision. She was not a rape victim, no-one has ever been convicted, the woman is an imposter.”

Then later goes on to say, in regards to his motivation for appealing his conviction

“I am a victim – the courts don’t always get it right, juries don’t always get it right.”

So, Dewar doesn’t think the courts get it right when it comes to him, and how he is a victim, but when it comes to Louise, the courts totally got it right and she was not a rape victim? Naturally. It’s so hard for men to get a break in society these days, always being wronged by the system and all that.

(Aside from the hideously inconsistent views of the court system he seems to have, I find it offensive that he says, flat out, “she was not a rape victim”. Like somehow he gets to tell her (and all the rest of us) what she was? Bro, please. You don’t get to proclaim things with that kind of authority. (Yes, I am aware of the outcome of the case, but what I am trying to get at is, Dewar can’t tell us, with supreme authority, what Louise is or isn’t, because we aren’t talking about something that happened to him. And when he is claiming he was wronged by the courts, but acting like she couldn’t have been? That’s a pretty good example of inconsistency and denial, to say the least).

“She knew what she was doing”

Posted in What the what? on July 24th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

From Jezebel.com:

A jury ruled yesterday against a woman who claimed her reputation was damaged after she was featured on a Girls Gone Wild video. What happened was, Jane Doe was dancing in a bar, and someone (another woman in the bar, not one of the crew members, though this obviously doesn’t make it ok) pulled her top down, exposing her breasts to the Girls Gone Wild camera crew. She never signed a consent form to appear on Girls Gone Wild exposing herself (as is procedure), and can be heard on the footage saying “no, no” when asked to show her breasts. So, basically she was assaulted on camera, and yet, when she sued Girls Gone Wild, the jury ruled against her. The jury foreman is quoted as saying

that they figured if she was willing to dance in front of the photographer, she was probably cool with having her breasts on film. They said she gave implicit consent by being at the bar, and by participating in the filming – though she never signed a consent form, and she can be heard on camera saying “no, no” when asked to show her breasts.

I don’t even have any words to describe how horrible this is. Being at a bar and dancing in the presence of the camera crew implies she’s fine with having her top yanked down and her breasts filmed, and then having that film be distributed for people to watch? Fuck. Every single aspect of this is made of wrong. Ignoring her non-consent? Wrong. Yanking her top down? Wrong. Filming her? Wrong. Distributing the film? Wrong. Talking about implicit consent, when actual legal consent procedures are clearly in place for Girls Gone Wild? Wrong. Victim-blaming (especially apparent in this article, with quotes like “she knew what she was doing”)? Wrong. Girls Gone Wild, and the jury, have a lot to answer for. If she wanted to show her breasts on a Girls Gone Wild video, she would have pulled her own top down. So saying she “knew what she was doing” has an added layer of stupid: if she knew what she was doing (being filmed baring her breasts), then why would it take someone else forcibly removing her top for that to happen? Facepalm indeed. (Obviously there are bigger, more obvious problems with the “she knew what she was doing” comment and mentality, such as the glaring, in-your-face victim blaming that places all the responsibility for the incident on her, but I just wanted to add this comment on the stupidly warped logic of it all).

Nick Cannon’s ‘Can I Live?’

Posted in Uncategorized on July 23rd, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Nick Cannon’s ‘Can I Live?’

Feministing.com has an awesome post about Nick Cannon’s song ‘Can I Live?’ and the video for it. The post on Feministing really covers all the problems with this song (and video), but I wanted to add a quick point: one of the lyrics that jumped out at me (and please, check out the rest, I do urge you to click through the link provided on Feministing) was “A strong woman that had to make a sacrifice” (in reference to his mother deciding against having an abortion). I find that infuriating; perpetuating the idea that only weak women have abortions, and having an abortion is weak and only borne out of lack of strength to ‘do the right thing’ is extremely hurtful (and, obviously, untrue).

Do check out Feministing for a great analysis of the problems with his song and video (most of which can be traced back to the ‘this is a personal story but oh actually I’m imploring all women out there, in the voice of the foetus inside them, not to have an abortion’). I also emphasize that, as Chloe states, I have no problem with any individual making the choice not to have an abortion, because it is just that: their own personal choice. Which, funnily enough, is exactly what I (as a feminist, and just a generally non-jerky human being) am an advocate for: choice.

But, one comment to Nick: I think instead of having ‘Can I Live’ on the t-shirts of all those kids in that crowd, it should have been ‘I could have been an abortion’. Way more powerful, and right to the heart.

Holy shizzle

Posted in What the what? on July 23rd, 2010 by steph – 5 Comments

500 calories a day? Way to be a thinly disguised starvation diet. Also, with the unlimited coffee you have the recipe for a very dizzy person with kerazy heart palpitations. I feel lighheaded just reading the words ‘500 calories a day’.

Word of the day: “alleged”

Posted in New Zealand on July 23rd, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Word of the day: “alleged”

It seems silly that in this article, they talk about the “victim of the alleged sex attack”, but then later go on to describe her serious physical injuries that were bad enough to necessitate admission to hospital (and have been widely reported on). I don’t think I recall the word ‘alleged’ being tacked on there any other times I have heard about this event, but that is possible a recall bias.  I understand that often the use of ‘alleged’ is related to complaints actually being made/charges laid/evidence provided/convictions obtained, but surely if someone is so badly injured they are in a serious condition in hospital, there is some strong evidence supporting the fact that there actually was an attack. I am aware that sometimes the word rape isn’t used because there hasn’t been a conviction yet (don’t get me started), and ditto sexual assault, but surely “sex attack” isn’t a legal term that we can’t go near without the caveat of ‘alleged’ in front of it?

Simon Dallow, representing The Nation

Posted in New Zealand on July 23rd, 2010 by steph – 3 Comments

Apparently Simon Dallow “doesn’t speak leso”. I’m quite sad to hear that, actually, because when us radical feminists take over the country, and force all the women to hate men and become lesbians, how will he be able to understand the angry press releases we provide for him to report on the news?

The whole coverage of his comment in this article is very strange indeed

One News anchor Simon Dallow apparently stepped over a line with his TV bosses after his media comment about his wife Alison Mau and her same-sex partner Karleen Edmonds.

Dallow was photographed enjoying convivial company at a commercial promotional launch and was asked by the Herald on Sunday gossip columnist about Mau.

He replied: “I don’t speak leso.”

Which is a rather odd thing for the main news anchor for public television to say.

TVNZ spokeswoman Andi Brotherston said: “TVNZ has dealt with Simon about this, it was handled earlier in the week.”

But she did not discuss TVNZ’s view about Dallow’s transgression. Once closely protected by network bosses who saw news anchors as representing the brand, TVNZ has taken an increasingly laissez-faire approach to Dallow and his social life on the “celebrity circuit” and in social pages since his break-up with Mau.

“I don’t speak leso” will be offensive to some, but is hardly shocking.

Maybe it fits with TVNZ apparently wishing to promote its news to swinging singles.

I find that lately I can never actually wrap my mind grapes around what people in columns/articles/any type of media report are actually trying to say. What does “maybe it fits with TVNZ apparently wishing to promote its news to swinging singles” even mean? I mean, I know that if I understood it, I’m almost certain it would be offensive. But the weird tone and style that things seem to be written in; its all so ‘I’m trying to be mysterious and evasive but also funny in kind of a veiled humour, subtle reference way’, and I end up with a headache.

Just because I’m a sucker for bingo…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

Anti-Feminist Bingo, parts 1-5

Rape-Apologist Bingo

And, especially for people who write on the internet:

Concern Troll Bingo

It all sounds so familiar, huh? The concern troll stuff especially, from both the internet world and the real world.

We can all be winners

Posted in Feminism on July 19th, 2010 by steph – 1 Comment

While reading a post on Feministing.com about Michael Kimmel, author of Guyland, I came across a quote  that I think sums up pretty well why some people (and especially some men) seem to be so resistant to, or angry at, or scared of feminism

“Men feel besieged and attacked by women’s advancement,” he said, and perceive gender as a zero-sum game: If women do better, men do worse.

I completely agree: so often, even now, the view that feminists want to take power for themselves and keep men chained up in dog kennels, in some sort of misandrist matriarchal dystopia, is still expressed by people. This view of a zero-sum game – women want to take power/rights/freedom/general ‘stuff’ , and to do so will mean ‘robbing’ it from men and depriving them- is far too familiar. But what people with a zero-sum game need to realise is that feminism is about righting inequalities in a way that means working towards equality, not reversing them so that a different group of people are the ones who are downtrodden. Feminism wants everyone to win, not women to win and men to lose.

Surely this must be a joke…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19th, 2010 by steph – 6 Comments

Through The Hand Mirror I heard about a few articles that rightly denounce the Haden-ish views about rape that have come up in the media recently. While I am pleased that there are people at least trying to express their disgust at the rape-apologist chorus, what I wanted to briefly mention was this delightful piece from a commentor (‘Clinton3666’, to be precise) on John Roughan’s column

Men having sex with their wivies and girlfriends are doing naturally and acceptable. Having sex help men remain interested in women.

Men who enjoyed having sex 3 times a week, for 50 years from 18 year old to 68 year old, lives longer to reach ripe old age of 100-120+ year old and look younger and healthier than lazy men who did not had sex for 50 past years.

Men who are sexually active in 18 to 70 year old and are interested in having sex with women are desired men for women.

Men who had not had sex for 20 to 50 years are less healthy and lives much shorter lifespans, cannot reach 100 years old of age and often look older.

Healthy strong & fit women in 16 to 70 years old enjoy having sex with boyfriends and husbands and are desired women for men.

Women who are avoiding having sex with men are sick, weak and unhealthy women and are not desired women. A woman who cannot stand have sex with husband 3 times a week is a weak sick unhealthy woman.

Both men and women to have strong sex drives and be very interested in sex for pleasure is natural & acceptable.

I prefterred a woman who can stand 3 sex a week.

Surely this must be a joke,right? Some sort of weird piss-take on crazy and incoherant views normally spouted by stuck-in-history angry man?Because it is just a touch too incoherant and weird to be real…

I guess though, to be fair, a woman who doesn’t have sex 3 times a week is a weak and unhealthy woman.

Those poor, undervalued Herald Columnists. Where’s their public holiday, huh?

Posted in New Zealand on July 18th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

Normally when I read or hear something that isn’t about me at all, but for some reason I take really personally (usually because it is an achilles heel-style weakness: for example, hearing  any kind of throwaway remark about ‘soft sciences’ will send me into a tirade about my Psychology degree and how people don’t know what science even is anymore), I tend to just vent my spleen on my poor friends and family. But I have now learned that what I should be doing is writing a column about it. Thanks Deborah Hill Cone, for giving me the go-ahead! Her latest column is a sad little tantrum about how we rate those in “helping professions” (doctors, nurses, firefighters, etc) as being more respected than real estates agents and journalists like little ol’ Deborah.

Well, speaking as someone with a parent who is  GP, yes, I do respect doctors more than journalists. Being a GP isn’t a glamourous job with sweet, sweet perks and screeds of adoration that Deboarh seems to think; it is a gruelling job with long days, mountains of paperwork to be done on ‘days off’, constant upskilling. Oh, and that huge salary? Yeah, still paying of some huge Medical School student loans. So I respect people like my Mum, who put her life into a job that helps other people feel better and gets very little recognition in return. Oh, except for being accused of possibly being “addicted” to work, as Deborah accuses. Apparently those in altruistic professions are really just addicted workaholics, who get high off the adoration and respect of the public. I know my Mum waits with baited breath every year for the Reader’s Digest poll of most repected New Zealanders, desperately hoping for some validation.

Deboarh is sceptical of people who are “here to help”, positing that they are secret control freaks. I guess we should, um, get rid of those jobs? Yes, I like the sound of that a lot indeed. Cut those workaholics off from their supply of workahol.

Her actual conclusion is that we stop “idolising” people who work in helping professions, and acknowledge that everyone – doctors, lawyers, plumbers, roofers, everyone – contributes in their own way. Well, at least I agree with what she thinks she is saying, which is that it would be nice if we all respected everyone for doing jobs that are all (in general) necessary ones. I don’t, as you may have picked up, agree with her view that we idolise vets and nurses and police officers…

I am a bit confused by this point though

Although obviously we do need firefighters to go and douse fires and nurses to care for sick people, as a general principle, it is better not to help able-bodied people but to leave them to find their own solutions and sort out their own “stuff”.

I thought that they way it worked was that ‘helping professions’ helped those who weren’t able to help themselves (for various reasons), and people who didn’t need those services don’t tend to seek them. So the comment about letting able-bodied people sort themselves out seems slightly redundant. It’s not as if the situation we are in now is people who don’t need firefighters calling them up and asking to be rescued from a burning building. But anyway….Deborah has this effect on me; utter confusion over what exactly she is trying to say.